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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2011 [Old]

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Rewinding the clock for July-September.

I really like the Caribbean Fruit Floes popsicles and the chocolate-covered banana slices, though I realize I can easily make the latter myself and will henceforth do so.

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  1. I've been obsessed with the Hold the Cone Mini Ice Cream Cones! Nice vanilla flavor, and I love the chocolate at the base of the cone. I also liked the 70% chocolate bars (one with black sea salt & caramel and one with toffee and pecans) but both have sold out quite quickly.

    10 Replies
    1. re: betterbeheaven

      My TJ's still has the toffee pecan bars, but the caramel sea salt bars are long gone.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        The caramel sea salt bars are back in stock! Yay!

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I love these. Last time I went they had both (I was travelling and so in Eugene OR). These are likely made by Vosges, and their same black sea salt bar sells most places for $6. A bargain at TJs.

          1. re: jsaimd

            To me, the TJ sea salt bars are sweeter than the Vosges ones, but at one third of a price.

            1. re: jsaimd

              Yes, the black sea salt bar is VERY similar to Vosges. I'm guessing, though, that it's a knock-off rather than made by Vosges under the TJ's label, mostly because Vosges doesn't make a bar similar to the toffee bar.

        2. re: betterbeheaven

          Yes! They were sampling the mini cones at my local TJ on Saturday. I think I had 4 of them they were great! Liked the vanilla better than the chocolate. Is that their normal ice cream inside?

          1. re: betterbeheaven

            I agree, I love those mini cones. Unfortunately I eat too many at a time. i hope they keep them and maybe add strawberry to the collection.

            1. re: betterbeheaven

              I bought both the chocolate bars to try recently. I liked the small little bits of toffee, pecans, and walnuts well-distributed through that bar, offering bits of crunch and flavor, and the pops of sea salt in the chocolate. I thought the caramel had good flavor in the black sea salt, not overly sugary and matched well with the bittersweet chocolate; unfortunately, the salt wasn't well distributed on the bottom, so some parts were bare of it and others had clumps that were too salty.

              1. re: betterbeheaven

                wow, just bought a box of mini cones and finished it with my GF the same night. addictive and dangerous, buyer beware!

                1. re: betterbeheaven

                  I must dissent on the mini cones. I thought they were a bit soggy and that the chocolate coating had a strange flavor, as did the chocolate ice cream. The vanilla was a bit better. (Of course, I did have to try both of them, strictly for research purposes!) Overall, I would actually prefer a mini-Drumstick cone.

                  I agree wholeheartedly about those chocolate bars. They are both dangerously good.

                2. Im addicted to T.J's already cooked bacon - red box cold section next to the cooked chicken sausages. THE best smoky bacon ever. Also discovered their frozen tart yogurt - next to the ice cream. No dairy for me but, I found that I can tolerate this. And, it's delish w.some of TJ's defrosted frozen berry medley. Sometimes I also add a sprinking of walnuts and gluten/dairy free chocolate chips :0

                  1. two new spice grinders. one has smokey sea salt-verrrrry smokey, but i like that. the other has brown and white rock sugar, chocolate (might be cocoa nibs? cant recall) and coffee beans. can't wait to try this on a caramel chocolate tart! might be on cherries or fresh berries, too!

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: chez cherie

                      Oooh. Was the latter in the baking aisle, or on the spice rack? Definitely, definitely need both in my life.

                      1. re: chocolatstiletto

                        i saw it on the "what's new" shelf, but i think i also saw it on the spice aisle. i plan to poach some cherries in zinfandel, and serve them over vanilla ice cream with a generous grind of that goodness. cherries, chocolate and coffee sound great to me.

                        1. re: chez cherie

                          cherie, that sounds quite appetizing!

                        2. re: chocolatstiletto

                          Ours was in the baking aisle and new shelf.

                        3. re: chez cherie

                          OMG! I want that sugar grinder!! I already love the pink salt and pepper one... I can keep it at work and folks can use it without me getting all stuffy about the price!

                          --Dommy!

                          1. re: Dommy

                            It does add a certain flair to the morning coffee!

                          2. re: chez cherie

                            I think the best use for the sugar/chocolate/coffee grinder will be to trim pastry or cake or candy the flavors would complement. It's mostly sugar, but would be attractive ground over cupcakes or on top of truffles, and give a pop of texture and a bit of flavor. Anything soft or liquid, it kind of gets lost in, I think.

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              I just HAD to buy it... and love it! The best use I've tried it is on Mexican rice pudding (which isn't quite as sweet and a bit watery). The sugar was there, but there was certainly pops from the coffee and chocolate. I am trying to think of how to use it for my work breakfast next week!

                              --Dommy!

                          3. I love the almond windmill cookies. My husband thought they were a bit plain but ate a bunch of them and now loves them. There is just something about them that is addicting. I, also, really like the Hold the Cone Mini cones but only in vanilla (perfect for little kids). I was not a big fan of the chocolate. We tried the three layer popsicles- raspberry, strawberry and lemonade- they were ok but a bit much. Nobody could finish one. We have never tried their rack of lamb. Any reviews on that?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: kmw1101

                              I've tried TJ's rack of lamb and vacuum-sealed pot roast recently. The lamb was okay, required some silverskin trimming. I cooked it on the grill and it came out nicely. To be honest though, I think it wasn't as meaty as the lamb I get at a good supermarket. Plus it was more expensive.

                              I reheated the post roast in some TJ's organic beef broth and thickened it to make a gravy. It wasn't bad at all. Quick comfort food.

                              1. re: kmw1101

                                I adore the almond windmill cookies. I like the mini cones, but they can't beat the ice cream bon bons.

                              2. I don't usually follow TJ topics so don't know if this has been mentioned in the past, but I love the mini brie bites and the fresh goat cheese medallions.

                                I like that they are single serving and good versions. They are a nicel and tasty 70 calorie snack.

                                1. The most wonderful TJ's product: The frozen Arctic Char. I know, the adjectives "frozen" and "wonderful" don't generally apply to the same seafood. "Farm raised" should create even greater levels of suspicion.

                                  I don't know how they do it. But, this stuff tastes like a cross between wild Chinook salmon and the lake trout I caught in the Yukon during a lodge trip a while back. It's fatty, so I'd recommend grilling, broiling, smoking or plank-cooking. I'm going to buy up a few pounds and toss in the smoker. Keep me going between fresh salmon seasons!

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: BobtheBigPig

                                    Thanks for all the suggestions - these are all products I haven't bought and will look for. Me - I'm still missing the wonderful chicken vegetable soup they had stocked at my local TJs all winter. Perfect comfort food and I hope they bring it back when the weather turns cold again.

                                    1. re: pasuga

                                      Someone on another thread said the refrigerated soups will be back in the fall. We've had our TJs only since October so I don't know the seasonal deal yet, but I am really hoping this is true.

                                    2. re: BobtheBigPig

                                      That is just the general flavor profile for Arctic Char, I actually prefer it to salmon...

                                      Also, it is a very sustainable fish even through its farmed... it get the best choice award by seafood watch...

                                      http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr...

                                      --Dommy!

                                      1. re: BobtheBigPig

                                        Arctic Char is great! And overall, I love Trader Joes frozen fish - the quality is better than most places "fresh".

                                        1. re: happybaker

                                          in "most places" their "fresh" is previously frozen anyway -- unless you're right on a water source where the fish comes form.

                                        2. re: BobtheBigPig

                                          Picked up a package after the recommendation and was very happy with the flavor and texture of arctic char. Made the recipe on the package for lemon caper butter and sauteed kale and it made for a quick and tasty dinner alongside Trader Joes whole wheat cous cous.

                                        3. Another good product - Trader Joe's sells its own brand of pop chips which cost about half of the pop chips in the supermarket. I like both the plain and the barbecue flavors.

                                          1. Our TJs just opened in June, and they were out of packaged brown rice when I was thinking of it, so I picked up the box in the freezer aisle. 3 bags in the box, enough for 2 servings for me. Microwave in the bag (with a slit in it) for 3 minutes. I tossed half in a bowl, mixed in a salted duck egg, topped with some TJs Organic Black Beans, Yumm! Sauce, and grated Pt. Reyes Farmstead cheese. Nuked for a minute more, and had a great rice bowl for din-din.

                                            After careful hunting in the freezer aisle, I found the Dorot frozen basil and garlic cubes and got one of each. I have fresh of each on hand at the moment, so it'll be a bit before I try them.

                                            Oh, and I saw the Fruit Floes from a small distance and had to look carefully at the labels, since I kept seeing Fruit Flies, LOL!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: tracylee

                                              If you like brown rice, do try the bagged brown jasmine. Like other brown rices, it needs 40 minutes of cooking. I used to buy the brown basmati and when it was out of stock, bought the jasmine. Haven't looked back!

                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                Also keep an eye out for the frozen mixed rice... absolutely scrumptous! It has Brown Rice, Red and Black barley. Great taste and texture! Also the Frozen Quinoa blend with the veggies a great stand alone side dish or base to add something like cooked beans (I love with their jarred giant beans)... LOVE it!

                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                  I saw the bagged brown jasmine on my latest visit, and will pick that up next time I'm out of rice.

                                                  I also saw the frozen mix and will look into that when I have the freezer space again. I love quinoa and have some from the bulk bin of a local store, but veggies - not so much - that's just me. Grain and beans is always a good combo and I feel good getting the complete protein in a vegetarian meal.

                                              2. re: tracylee

                                                I absolutely love the frozen brown rice and the frozen rice medley. I've been eating them at work for lunch with some soy sauce and sriracha. It may be coincidence and/or psychological, but I feel like since I've starting doing that, my afternoon performance is much better - I'm less sleepy and more energetic, and don't get hungry mid-afternoon.

                                              3. S'mores Gelato Sandwiches. Delicious but very very melty.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                  I just tried those too, yummy! It was melty for me as well. I thought it was just because I haven't had it in the freezer long enough...

                                                  1. re: gnomatic

                                                    I would not buy these again. The first one was too soft but I'd only gotten them home and into the freezer a few hours earlier. But the rest, the last eaten a month later, was still just as mushy. The cookie is a soggy mess. Basically, you need a bowl and spoon to eat these.

                                                2. Has anybody tried the bibimbap rice bowl?

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: wench31

                                                    We just had some last night and were pleasantly surprised that it's reasonably good. Not authentic by any means, but it's good for a quick meal. My korean-american husband prefers to eschew the packaged sauce for real gochujang, but i think it's pretty good (they seem to put more ingredients like miso in the sauce). We're happy to see TJ's branching out further in their 'ethnic' offerings.

                                                    1. re: VPacific

                                                      I just had this for lunch - I really liked it a lot, especially with all the sauce. The rice had a really nice consistency too. The only bad part was, after I ate it I saw it has 600 calories and 14 grams of fat (13 WW points, if anyone cares about that). When I saw that I realized why it tastes so good. Still, I was impressed. It was way better than I thought it would be.

                                                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                        That's why I picked it up and put it back down again. It looked like too little food for too many calories for hungry little me.

                                                        1. re: Jeri L

                                                          Exactly what I did. No way I'd eat half and save the rest for another meal.

                                                    2. re: wench31

                                                      Overall, I really liked it! The veggies were good and the meat had a nice flavor and was very tender. What surprised me was the sauce. Trader Joes usually falls short when it comes to 'sauce'. But this was a very good approximation of the real thing!

                                                      --Dommy!

                                                      1. re: wench31

                                                        I thought it was terrible -- as bibimbap -- and OK-to-meh -- as a "generic Asian" frozen meal. I don't plan to buy it again.

                                                        If you frequently eat hot/stone pot bibimbap at restaurants or as home cooking, don't bother. It's about as similar to the real thing as a can of Chef Boyardee is to real pasta.

                                                        1. re: wench31

                                                          eating it right now, I'll buy more to keep in the freezer at work. Great for a quick meal.

                                                          I'm not looking at this as authentic bibimbap, I'm looking at this as a buncha veggies and meat on top of rice with sauce.

                                                        2. I really like their mango cream bars (they're not new though)-- perfect size and l love the mix of sweet mango w/ cream. Their chili mango fruit floe....definitely nay. i tried those once and it had way too much spice. I usually love spicy foods, but somehow, a spicy popsicle seemed to defeat the purpose of eating a popsicle. It was not refreshing or cooling and just made me want to eat something else!
                                                          Also just discovered their 'Bool Kogi' chuck steak-- surprisingly good flavor. I just pan seared them, sliced into strips and made bulgogi tacos for dinner tonight with some pickled cucumber slices and chopped tomatoes.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: VPacific

                                                            I love the chili mango fruit bar. But I love all things spicy.

                                                          2. TJs Cheese Enchiladas - Yay on the flavor, not so much on the cooking instructions. There wasn't a picture on the label, and it turns out that it was meant to be cooked in the sales package - no inner plastic wrap. 9 minutes in the microwave turned the cheese into cement around the edges. The green bell peppers were visually prominent, and had I seen them on a picture, I wouldn't have bought it, but by the time I saw them, it had been cooked. They were very mild and it was quite tasty!

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: tracylee

                                                              9 minutes in the microwave? wowee. thatsalottanukin'

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                Those Cheese Enchiladas are a guilty pleasure. I have found that cooking times can vary a lot based on your microwave. I usually let them go on a low/defrost setting for a few minutes, let them sit a couple of minutes, and then finish for another minute or two on high. You have to experiment a little to see what works best in your micro.

                                                                1. re: pamf

                                                                  I'll try that cooking method next time.

                                                                  Yeah, I was surprised at the cooking time and actually passed it by in my freezer the first time as taking too long 'cause I wanted something in a hurry.

                                                            2. Big yay for the Peach Pops (popsicles with a penguin on the box). They have a really wonderful intensely peachy flavor, and pieces of peach in them not just frozen liquid. They are small and fruit juice sweetened so they make a reasonably healthy snack for my son and he loves them. We have a lot of silly conversations about the penguins driving the ice cream truck on the box.

                                                              Medium yay for the Milk Chocolate Covered Toffee Popcorn. I really needed a treat that was chocolatey and salty and settled on this, and it's pretty yummy. The texture could be better--how crunchy can popcorn stay when it's coated in chocolate, though?--but it filled my craving.

                                                              I've been enjoying the Coffee Bean Blast ice cream, but I like all coffee ice cream.

                                                              Nay on the organic Corn Flakes, they just weren't crunchy or flavorful enough. I'd love to hear about what TJ's cereals people do love. I usually never eat cold cereal but during the heat of summer I sometimes crave it with some cold cold milk and sliced bananas.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: butterfat

                                                                Good post about those organic corn flakes. I bought them for my husband and he said it was the worst cereal he has eaten - ever! That's saying a lot.

                                                                1. re: butterfat

                                                                  I like their new bran flakes. They're thicker and sturdier than some, so don't go soggy as quickly.

                                                                  1. re: butterfat

                                                                    We love the Mango Passion Granola -- great on a summery morning with an ice cold bowl of milk.....

                                                                  2. Anyone tried the frozen Masala Dosa yet?

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: gnomatic

                                                                      I tried it at the store. They were handing out samples. It was pretty good--didn't have as much of an Indian flavor as you'd like--very potatoish. But I did buy a package, and noticed when I got home that the preparation is more complicated than I'd like for an OK frozen food. (Microwave then pan fry.) So I haven't tried it at home yet.

                                                                      1. re: gnosh

                                                                        OK frozen dosa scares me. Dosa in my experience is really best freshly made. Doesn't even work for takeout. I am morbidly curious.

                                                                        1. re: jsaimd

                                                                          My first introduction to dosa was homemade by a good friend..she even grinds the chickpea(?) flour fresh to make the batter. Unfortunately for me, she moved back to India. Needless say nothing compared since.
                                                                          I saw the package in TJ, was curious if it's even possible to do a okay version frozen. Their frozen naan is fairly good, but dosa?

                                                                          1. re: jsaimd

                                                                            I actually made these last night...nuked then fried. I liked them, but of course you are doing some more work that with the other TJ Indian products. They would NOT have been good without the frying--they got very nice and crispy

                                                                            Not homemade but acceptable.

                                                                            1. re: jsaimd

                                                                              You're right. It is a pale shadow--a mere suggestion--of a real dosa, but kind of edible nonetheless! Not sure it is worth the two-step process, though.

                                                                              1. re: gnosh

                                                                                I did them in the oven, since I don't have a microwave anyway. Turned out pretty tasty for a quick snack - I agree that they can't hold a candle to the real thing, but not bad in a pinch.

                                                                                1. re: gnosh

                                                                                  "Suggestion of a dosa" is right, but since I'm too lazy to learn how to make them, they're really not bad.

                                                                          2. double-creme gouda from holland…makes a swell grilled cheese! good for just snacking, too. we also liked the cheese of the month.

                                                                            1. I'm loving the Rosemary-Raisin Crisps. These are my dream cracker, sweet-savory, crunchy, yummy with any kind of goat cheese.

                                                                              Also, the Pomegranate Limeade, while it doesn't have the brightest flavor in the world, is pretty nice for an easy, refreshing summer beverage, and mixed with some bourbon, seltzer, and a squeeze of lime it's the base for my current drink of choice. One I'm sorry to say I sometimes drink in a quart-sized Mason jar :) Which is mostly filled with ice, but still.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: butterfat

                                                                                yes, those rosemary raisin crisps are very good!

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  Oh yes, the crisps. THE CRISPS!!!!!!

                                                                                2. re: butterfat

                                                                                  Have you had Rainforest Crisps (from Canada, available at Whole Foods), and if so, how do they compare?

                                                                                3. Mini chocolate chip cookies with ganache - These little guys are in the frozen section and are unspeakably delicious. It takes no time at all to defrost them and they're the perfect little snack.

                                                                                  Edamame Hummus - I bought this on a lark since they didn't have my guilty pleasure- pimento cheese. But it's really tasty and not as unhealthy as the pimento cheese!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                    Just had a great lunch from the TJ frozen section - tri colored tortellini with spinach and ricotta in a sace that contained fresh cherry tomatoes, zucchini and red peppers. absoluely delicious

                                                                                  2. I don't know how long it's been around, but I've recently discovered (and become addicted to) the Caramelized Onion Dip.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                      It was around maybe 10 years ago but disappeared. It has not yet returned to my local TJ's, unfortunately.

                                                                                    2. roasted garlic marinara sauce. good without tweaking.

                                                                                      1. I've just started shopping at Trader Joe's again, as this is the first time in years that I'm living near a TJ's that isn't insanely crowded at all hours (Union Square, Brooklyn Heights...). While most of my purchases have been big YAYs!!, I've had four recent massive NAYs.... These are probably all old products, but they were new (and disappointing) to me:

                                                                                        1. Sesame Ginger Soy Dressing-- Way too sweet. And no wonder, the second ingredient in this dressing is sugar! I hate to waste food, but I dumped the entire bottle down the drain. Needless to say, that was before I realized that TJ's takes returns. Doh.

                                                                                        2. Supreme Pizza-- Way too salty! Even my 2 year old pizza addict wouldn't touch this.

                                                                                        3. Organic White Cheddar Shells (boxed mac & cheese)-- Mac & cheese-loving kid also wouldn't touch this. I tasted a bite and it had a strange fishy undertone. Blech. Into the garbage.

                                                                                        4. Sourdough Pretzels--These were not nearly as offensive as the other three products---I just found them to be majorly bland. They were okay dipped in the Edamame Hummus (YUM), but on their own they pale in comparison to Snyders, Bachmanns, or any other supermarket brands.

                                                                                        A couple YAYs:

                                                                                        1. Chocolate-covered banana slices-- Ridic good. However, as Greygarious noted, they are also ridic easy to make at home for much less (esp when you use TJ's bananas), and I will be doing so tonight!

                                                                                        2. Soft & juicy mango-- Exactly as described.

                                                                                        3. Triple ginger snap cookies-- The best when smeared with the organic, low-fat whipped cream cheese.

                                                                                        4. Organic Moral Fiber Cranberry Orange Bran Muffin -- Really moist and fresh-tasting, and that's coming from someone who regularly bakes super healthy muffins for the kid, so as to sneak in veggies on days when he's refusing them. My dad thought I'd baked these myself.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Erelgi

                                                                                          Bring your receipt back to TJs, even if you don't have the bottle anymore. They will still give you a refund.

                                                                                          1. re: Erelgi

                                                                                            I had to restrain myself from eating an entire container of that Edamame Hummus. It's too delicious. (especially with their veggie flaxseed chips!)

                                                                                            If you like mac & cheese - their frozen reduced guilt mac and cheese is pretty darn tasty. It's 3-year-old-approved in my house.

                                                                                          2. My greatest disappointment lately was their Chile con Queso - so much bragging about how true and natural the ingredients are, but then how come it's so blah? Not cheesy, not spicy ... oh, my, back to the supermarket stuff.

                                                                                            I do continue to love their potato salad, their bagged haricots verts and the green-and-yellow beans, and their fresh trout (when they have it!). I'm still in mourning for the grass-fed steakburgers and the burger-sized ciabatta rolls … for one brief, glorious moment the best burger I'd ever eaten came from my back yard!

                                                                                            1. new zealand grass-fed sharp cheddar: firm, nutty, savory, great for snacking and i suspect would be great on a grilled cheese.

                                                                                              tj's has good cheese buyers! for variety each week for snacking (or sandwiches), we usually end up buying the cheese that's on the sampling bar, although we did go to a double-creme dutch gouda last time (also very good).

                                                                                              1. The Vanilla Meringues look good, but are excruciatingly sweet. I've never made meringues so I don't know, but should sugar be the first ingredient?

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                  Meringues are pretty much sugar and egg white, so yes.

                                                                                                2. A couple quick ones to add here:

                                                                                                  Yea: The dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and Turbinado sugar. I can't stop eating the blasted things (I still wish they hadn't discontinued the dark chocolate covered Macadamia nuts though...)

                                                                                                  Nay: The "Really Expensive" Lasagna Bolognese in the frozen food section. It just smelled and tasted weird to me.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Vexorg

                                                                                                    +1 on the almonds. Those are deadly to me!! Salty and sweet and chocolatey and nutty - perfect PMS snack! :)

                                                                                                    1. re: Vexorg

                                                                                                      If you buy them and mix them together with the Cinnamon Almonds.. it is heaven (probably deadly-heaven but very tasty).

                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                        I've had to stop buying the Cinnamon Almonds. I could just eat them all day at work. I don't like the sesame honey ones quite as much, so I get those instead. And yes, the dark chocolate ones with sea salt are incredible, but those are my evening almonds.

                                                                                                        1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                          I like your strategy of "I don't like this QUITE as much so I'll buy them to save me from devouring those"

                                                                                                          I can't purchase the dark chocolate ones for fear of eating them all in one sitting. I'll have to try the sesame honey ones! :)

                                                                                                      2. re: Vexorg

                                                                                                        ive been addicted to those sea salt almonds forever! soooo good

                                                                                                      3. I've just tried their Hofbrau Brats, and glory be! They're great! Easily the best, most authentic-tasting brats I've ever had from a grocery store - just the right good hint of mace, not too salty, juicy and tender. I grilled these to about half-done then buried them in some kraut in a gratin pan and baked it for twenty minutes, and it was heaven on earth. These are I think every bit as good as the ones you used to be able to get at neighborhood butcher shops in Louisville...

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                          well, i'm gonna be all over those brats. great rec coming from you, will owen!

                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                            I just had the last of my quasi-choucroute garni for supper, and even nuked it was divine. Neglected to mention I'd done some of the TJ's frozen mashed potato pellets as a side dish, of course incorporated into the leftovers pot. Yum.

                                                                                                          2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                            I like to simmer them with a bunch of thin-sliced onions in a bottle of beer. (well, actually, in a pan...would be hard to get them into a beer bottle...) classic preparation, never gets old. Oh, and they are great with a spoonful of tj's corn salsa.

                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                              How big is the package and how much do they cost?

                                                                                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                The brats are $2.99, 8 to the 7oz. package. I found them over-processed, more akin to a knackwurst in texture, but the seasoning is spot-on.

                                                                                                                Interestingly, this is the only TJ's product whose supplier I've seen publicly named. Bayern Munich star Uli Hoeness founded HoWe Wurstwaren in 1983, initially supplying Aldi (TJ's owner) and since expanding to 20 countries including, of course, the US, where it should be noted the recipe is slightly different thanks to the USDA (I suspect the European version has a sheep's casing).

                                                                                                                Here's the link, sub may be required:

                                                                                                                http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6ae352...

                                                                                                              2. still on the fence about the follow 2 products:

                                                                                                                tom yam soup- found in the frozen section. while it's no match for real thai soup it may suffice in a pinch. at first taste i was determined to toss it out but i heated it up some more and it sort of grew on me. not sure if this cold/virus i'm nursing just wanted something hot and spicy.

                                                                                                                the other product is the coconut vanilla milk. i've had other coconut milk (not coconut water or the thick milk that comes in a can) and this one had a strange after taste. maybe b/c i had the tom yam soup the day before i kept associating the taste with lemongrass but it tasted odd with my Barbara's cereal. maybe it was the combo with the cereal that imparted this odd taste? i think further tasting needs to be done with other cereal/combos.

                                                                                                                1. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Only 40 calories/cup and each serving contains 30% RDA calcium and 20% RDA VitaminE.

                                                                                                                  1. A couple of weeks ago, we tried the Mango Sorbet as a sample but couldn't buy it because we were out of town. We went to Trader Joes by us all prepared to buy but they told us that there was a packaging problem and that it will probably be shipped out in a couple of days. Does anybody know what the packaging problem was all about?

                                                                                                                    1. Bistro Biscuits - These are the same cookies that you get on Delta Airlines. A crisp cookie, not too sweet, with cinnamon. Goes well with coffee or tea. They are made in Belgium.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                        the "biscoff" biscuits?

                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                          Yup

                                                                                                                          1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                            And they are a gooood knock off. If only they would copy the addictive biscoff spread next! Hey, they did nutella for a while...i live in hope.

                                                                                                                        2. re: pamf

                                                                                                                          +1 for Bistro Biscuits. I can go through a whole package in one sitting.

                                                                                                                        3. Yay: Beef, Bean and Cheese Dip. In the frozen section. Lots of cilantro, although it's the last ingredient on the list. I don't like colantro, so I may be more sensitive than those looking for the flavor. After finishing it off, I looked at the package and realized I'd just downed 11 servings, however.

                                                                                                                          Meh: Triple Ginger Shap Cookies. I like the Ginger Snaps from World Market better.

                                                                                                                          Nay: Steamer Clams - freezer section. The sauce was tasty, however, there were a number of broken clams and grit. They were chewy after microwaving according to directions. They were also larger than I like in clams. I'm not sure why I bought these and thought it was a good idea, but I'm in the process of moving and need to get things out of the freezer.

                                                                                                                          1. made a great eggplant parm with the tomato & basil marinara sauce. i think i like it even better than the roasted garlic version.

                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                              I always keep a jar of that stuff for "emergencies" alkapal, even now when fresh ripe tomatoes are rolling in in Pa.

                                                                                                                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                yes, gmc, it has a clean tomato flavor with a nice level of acidity…isn't gloppy nor is it sweet (yay). the basil is not visible in any way, but there is a good sense of its savory depth in the background. that said, the sauce has a good all-round flavor and is not "basil-y" -- so you can use it in many different apps.

                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                  It is like a blank piece of paper just waiting to be filled with creativity! My friend and I tried a bag of the new chocolate chip cookies and they were very good. Forget the name, high falutin' or some such. But this time of year everything rots or goes soft the second you open the package here in Penna so I'm glad we ate them fast. Gonna wait for crisper weather to buy them again. I don't even buy many potatoes this time of year and I love me the potatoes!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                    They are the Highbrow Chocolate Chip cookie. And they are awesome.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: quof

                                                                                                                                      Thanks quof! Yeah I wasn't expecting much but I was surprised at how tasty those cookies were.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                        Before trying them, I read a comment that they could be passed off as homemade. One bite and I agreed.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: quof

                                                                                                                                          Are they chewy? I hope so because then I could pass them off as homemade to my very selective students (when I do not have time to both bake and grade).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                            They are more on the crispy side but I suppose you could always nuke them a little. Actually august in Penna is so muggy that just leaving them out on a plate for ten minutes would probably change them from crisp to chewy.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                      Those are my favorite TJ's cookies. After I open the package and eat a couple, I put the rest in an airtight container so they stay fresh.

                                                                                                                              2. their ground beef 1# pkgs are a very good value. 80/20 is $2.49. 85/15 is $3.49. the 85/15 is what i use for meat sauce and tacos. it is lean, and i just drain on a paper towel for what fat there is (not much).

                                                                                                                                1. Nay to crumpets. Bought a package of six, 2 sealed packages of 3 bound together. First package of 3 OK, but had like a raisin taste or something. Opened the other package of three a couple days later and the three crumpets there had disintegrated into a wet, sticky, doughy mush.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                                                    Sounds like a bad batch to me. I get them all the time and as long as they stay sealed, they're fine (and if they don't, they just get dry and hard, not sticky.) I love them--kind of a pancakey texture and sourdough flavor.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                                                      I used to love TJ's crumpets, but the last two packages I got (several months apart, so it's not one bad batch) both molded, in the fridge, within three days of purchase. Not wasting my money again. It's out of my way to go there, and I'm not making a special trip to return an item that's less than $5.

                                                                                                                                    2. Yea - The new Fig Butter. Intensely figgy flavor. Find it next to the jams and other fruit butters.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                        Is this similar to fig spread with the orange lid from Whole Foods? Or is this more of the consistency of their apple butter?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                          Never tried the fig spread from Whole Foods, but I have tried other fig spreads and this is more the consistency of the apple butter than a jam or preserve.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                            Good answer. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                      2. Recently discovered TJ's "Harvest Grains Blend...A savory blend of Israeli Style of Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo beans, & Red Quinoa". Dried mix found next to rice packets.

                                                                                                                                        Made this according to package, then mixed with sautéed onion mixture as follows:

                                                                                                                                        Heat some oil, put in one or two cinnamon sticks, add chopped onions, sautee until a bit caramelized, add some chopped nuts such as walnuts or pistachios (I've made with pine nuts but prefer other two), raisins, olives, salt & pepper to taste. Don't recall if I added mint or not but my family loved this concoction.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: ceekskat

                                                                                                                                          I second the harvest grains blend recommendation!
                                                                                                                                          it tastes good, has a nice texture, and is versatile as a side or gussied up as a main dish with shellfish, meat or chicken..

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ceekskat

                                                                                                                                            OK, I had bought the mix before moving, and took a good look at it during the move. I didn't see garbanzo beans, so thanks for mentioning "baby" garbanzos. I just got the pot rack off the stove and hanging today, so when it actually cools to a reasonable temperature, I can start cooking again. (If I've unpacked things where I can find them)

                                                                                                                                          2. Saw frozen ready to bake blueberry scones in the freezer case today... anyone had the chance to try it yet? I almost bought them, but I still have a box of the mini croissants & chocolate croissants that I should finish first.

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                              Hope they're around in the fall, it's too hot here to turn on an oven!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                The scones are awesome! Also the double chocolate biscotti in the cookie area. New item,roasted and sliced turkey breast in a tray in entree section-not the thin sliced in hanging pkg with luncheon meats. All in Huntington Beach store

                                                                                                                                                1. re: marti

                                                                                                                                                  +1 on the scones. They look weird out of the box, but bake up delicious!

                                                                                                                                              2. frozen mango chunks --mmm, on the whole, good for smoothies. found two diff. mango varieties inside. pretty ripe, so chunks can be eaten with fork, but better to blend, use otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                best point: don't have to peel a mango to get the mango "hit"
                                                                                                                                                worst point: uneven ripeness, but tending to be very ripe

                                                                                                                                                1. HUGE NAY on the uncured bacon trimmings. What a mess of crappy "trimmings." Pathetic!

                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    The gingersnaps in the tub (with dried ginger). Crisp, ginger-y, not too sweet - fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      Their trimmings are comparable to other brands of bacon ends and pieces. I don't expect slices, rather pieces that I can dice and use as flavoring.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                        i didn't expect slices. and theses trimmings are awful…long strings of pure fat with chunks of hard meat (maybe) at one end.. ain't no way this can be "diced" in any true respect. chopped into tinier crappy bits -- maybe that's the phrase. these should be ground for some sausage, not sold as is.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                          I'm with paulj on the bacon (or at least I think I am...) I used kitchen shears to quickly chop them into bits for carbonara, spinach salad, omelet - great for quick use and so much cheaper than the full sizes. They are fattier than sliced bacon, but the flavor was great.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                                            Some pieces are all fat, some all lean. Some have a tougher edge, though I don't think it's as tough and thick as skin. I pick and choose depending on the use.

                                                                                                                                                            Admittedly I'm the sort of person who is happy with a pack of bacon ends from Grocery Outlet.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Frozen butter chicken and basmati rice. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Incredibly watery sauce, very little chicken whatsoever, and sopping wet rice with zero basmati aroma or flavor. Definitely one of the weakest items I've had at TJs.

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiggyK

                                                                                                                                                        Completely agree on how bad the butter chicken is! Especially disappointing as the chicken tikka masala is quite good (as is the saag paneer).

                                                                                                                                                        Yays: Lemon Bars (frozen section), Raspberry & Cream Ice Cream Bars, Chocolate Sorbet (surprisingly decent for being so low fat), Blueberry & Vanilla Cream Yogurt Cups (LOVE), TJ's Cream-Top Milk (OMG, orgasmic...I buy a jug every week), Rosemary Pecans & Cranberries, Sweet & Spicy Pecans, Danish Pancakes (the round balls...So good), Watermelon Juice, Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies, Onion Ring Chips, Cheddar Puffs

                                                                                                                                                        Nays: Butter Chicken (blech), Papaya Salad (inedible and way too spicy), Chicken Egg Rolls (these are so bland and flavorless), TJ's Hazelnut Creamer (has a funky taste, had to return it...Nothing like Coffee Mate version), Microwaveable Mini Pizzas 4 Pack (meh)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: doraxkishi

                                                                                                                                                          Another Yay for the chicken tikka masala (really excellent, with restaurant-quality sauce)
                                                                                                                                                          However, another nay on the butter chicken.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                            It's funny, when that butter chicken first came out I remember liking it a lot, but the last time I bought it, it did seem more water and less delicious.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I just bought a loaf of TJ's 100% rye bread, described on the label as "a hearty pumpernickel with chopped whole rye and molasses."

                                                                                                                                                        The one-pound loaf is very small, compact and slices are super thin. I think this very dense and dark bread is delicious, especially well-toasted and slathered with sweet butter.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I am not sure if the frozen beer-batter onion rings are new or not. Though I would not mistake them for fresh-from-the-fryalator, they are crispy and fried-tasting after 20 minutes in the toaster oven. I will certainly buy them again.

                                                                                                                                                          The small chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, in the clear, round tub, are nothing on the (sadly discontinued) whole wheat mini CCCs.

                                                                                                                                                          1. the frozen sliced leeks are fine for making soup, but are unevenly cut sizes; this makes them unsuitable for sauteing or putting into soups that you don't intend to puree. on the good siide --- no dirty leeks to clean!

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                              and a fair amount of green. So yes, they do need plenty of time to cook. Price is good, and having them in the freezer is handy,

                                                                                                                                                              I also like their frozen pearl onions.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Chocolate covered peanut butter wafer cookies - I don't know if they are new, but I've never seen them before. They are really good - I could have eaten the whole bag pretty easily.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crabtree

                                                                                                                                                                chocolate covered espresso beans are back in stock; so is the Columbian 82% dark chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Puff pastry was back in Sherman Oaks - yay!

                                                                                                                                                                Has anyone tried the slow roasted tomatoes or grilled marinated artichokes in the refrigerated section? Bought the tomatoes today and will report back, but wasn't sure about the artichokes.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                                                  Replying to my own question - the slow roasted tomatoes are excellent. Quite expensive ($2.99 for 8 oz, and that includes the oil they're packed in - I feel like it's maybe a dozen or so cherry tomatoes, tops) but great to have on hand for quick topping on bread with ricotta or a fast homemade pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I'm in love with the Triple Cream Cambozola.

                                                                                                                                                                  I tried the Harvest Grain Medley (dried grains) yesterday, but made it risotto style, with garlic, butter and grated cheese. The baby garbanzos took forever to cook. Has anyone cooked it as directed - and what was the final texture?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Yea:

                                                                                                                                                                    Smoke House Pulled Pork. It's for microwave, which I don't have, but easy to heat up on the stovetop or in a toaster oven. Great sandwiches in 5-10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                    Creamy Polenta with Spinach & Carrots. It's OK, nothing special. The polenta pucks take about 10 minutes to dissolve over medium heat, not 5-7 as the package says.

                                                                                                                                                                    Honey Graham Crackers. A graham cracker is a graham cracker. These are indistinguishable from Nabisco's but cost less and you don't have to leave TJ's to get them.

                                                                                                                                                                    Belgian Chocolate Pudding. Wow! So intensely chocolate that a teaspoon or two is enough dessert for me.

                                                                                                                                                                    Nay:

                                                                                                                                                                    Price increases. The multigrain crackers went up from $1.69 to $1.99, and other items have done the same. TJ's prices are still lower than at the supermarket across the street, where they've been raising prices too, but I was hoping they could hold the line.

                                                                                                                                                                    Turkey Chili with Beans. The canned beef chili with beans is very tasty, but the turkey version is blah and has no texture.

                                                                                                                                                                    Vanilla Almond Granola Bars. The vanilla icing isn't "drizzled" onto the bar, it's probably half the weight - way too sweet for me and I can't really taste the granola.

                                                                                                                                                                    Chicken/Turkey Uncured Hot Dogs. TJ's uncured beef dogs are so good I'm practically living on them, but these lower fat, lower calorie alternatives don't taste enough like hot dogs and are generally short on flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: armagnac

                                                                                                                                                                      That pulled pork is fabulous. I generally would never buy something that prepared and packaged (and that was a microwave dish), but I taste-tested it in the store and was hooked. We had it for dinner the other night, and my 2 year old couldn't get enough of it. At one point, he was grimacing from the spiciness of it and starting to tear up, but he kept saying "More pork, Mommy! More pork!" We're having it tonight for his birthday dinner! The cashier said that they get it from some famous BBQ place in Texas....

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Erelgi

                                                                                                                                                                        alright…i'm officially looking for this bbq now!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: armagnac

                                                                                                                                                                        My daughter really likes the creamy polenta. I thought it was pretty good when they were sampling it in the store (which is why we bought it).

                                                                                                                                                                        We recently tried the mushroom ravioli (comes in a one pound bag with sauce for $3.49) and they are excellent. Much better than the Buitoni mushroom agnolotti which comes in a smaller package without sauce for much more.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. had a box of TJ chocolate croissants in our spare freezer that my 12 year old uncovered this past weekend - set them out overnight Saturday, baked them Sunday AM & they were pretty darn good for a frozen for months product. Def will buy again....not so good for the diet (that's why they were in the spare freezer!!)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. The Edamame tofu nuggets. Delish.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. YAY: The chocolate chips are really awesome. I did not think they could really be that stellar but they are a good size, cheaper than cchips anywhere else.. and they definitely taste like better quality chocolate than Toll House or Ghiradeli

                                                                                                                                                                            I think I have put this before but the Garlic Marinated Mushrooms (in a jar) near the olives are so amazing to add to stirfry-type dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                            I looked at the pour-bake-no-work brownies and despite that I need to bring treats.. I was too disgusted by the whole concept to purchase them. Somehow, it kind of reminds me of GOGURT or something... dump pour consume: How lazy are we in America?--Don't get me wrong, it is a good option to have, but you might as well just buy them baked or bake them yourself from scratch

                                                                                                                                                                            I also looked at the new "vegetable tray"--it looked really small and could NOT compare to the trays at other stores that can be brought to work-parties, but it could be nice for a date-picnic for 2.

                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                              I agree with you with the pour brownies... just horrifying...

                                                                                                                                                                              The veggie tray is a new staple for me. Although it looks really small, it's pretty much CRAMMED with veggies and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they include Jicama. I buy one every week and keep it at work for heathy snacking with some of their eggplant hummus.

                                                                                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                Ooh - great idea on the veggie snacks to keep at work.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                  I hope this doesn't cause mike to look down on me, bit it was a bit of laziness, but I found another great use for the veggie tray... I often bring green salads to picnics, but HATE how tired they look if they have been composed ahead of time and composing a salad without a proper kitchen can get pretty icky. So, I recently took a bad of washed greens, the veggie tray. Fluffed up the lettuce and tossed in the greens right when I arrived. It made for a beautiful salad and the gang really liked the mix of veggies, especially the Jicama! Whew!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                I briefly considered the pour brownies as well, and suddenly felt it was the epitome of laziness and I put it back on the shelf. :)

                                                                                                                                                                              3. One for the nay column for their apricot preserves. Not preserves, jelly! and pretty tasteless on top of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                                                                                                  Is this the reduced sugar preserves? If so, agreed. The regular kind is delicious, but in trying to avoid the corn syrup, I bought the organic kind this visit. I don't mind that's it less sweet, but it's also less apricot-y in its way and bizarrely smooth texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, it was the reduced sugar preserves. Yuck.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: DPGood

                                                                                                                                                                                    Agree! Those are the worst! Despite the "low sugar" claim, they actually taste like they have more sugar than their normal preserves. I went back for the Organic Strawberry preserves, which are better but still not great.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                                                                                                      Really? The organic low sugar with the black lids? I've always loved that and never thought it was too sweet. I hope they didn't change it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. wins:

                                                                                                                                                                                      bibimbap, palek paneer, chocolate covered frozen bananas

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                        another yay for TJ's chicken taquitos with TJ's tomatillo roasted yellow chili salsa

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Yay: Snapeas...my toddlers love these!! FInd them near the pocorn, potato chip section.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Nay - Chocolate Caramel Swirl ice cream - finally found the caramel in a tablespoon sized blob at the bottom of the quart...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                                                                                                                            That's just tragic!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. NAY on the frozen creamed spinach. blah, the texture of the spinach is rough, not soft and creamy. reminds me of scallions. then the cream that its in tastes like watery paste. what a waste AND there's a great amount of calories in it which deems it completely not worthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Yeas:

                                                                                                                                                                                              Tofu Edamame Nuggets. Just tried them, really love them. My boyfriend didn't like them, though I can only get him to eat certain tofu.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Veg Masala Burger. My fave frozen veg burg.

                                                                                                                                                                                              NAYYYYYs:

                                                                                                                                                                                              Beefless Strips. I could only eat 2 strips they were so gross, and then they ruined my stomach for the rest of the night

                                                                                                                                                                                              veg chili with tofu. Seriously the worst thing I've ever attempted to eat. I didn't eat for 2 days afterword because all I could think of was that dogfood-like atrocity.

                                                                                                                                                                                              breaded chickenless nuggets are also gross. Always get morningstar instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pghveg

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ooh - I bought the tofu edamame nuggets too and loved them! They are really tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                  what does one do with the tofu nuggets?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just heated them up in the toaster oven and had them, with soy sauce, as an appetizer with a stir-fry. My kids had them with ketchup instead of the stir-fry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I ate it as a snack!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are they in the frozen section? They sound good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chompy

                                                                                                                                                                                                        yes, frozen, in a bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Big yea on the soft peanut brittle; two nay votes for the malted milk ball cookies and the chocolate croissants in the bakery aisle. I could taste no malt what-so-ever in the cookies and ended up pitching the container after eating only two of them. The chocolate croissants were dried out and stale. I would have returned both of these items except that we live two hours away and won't be back for probably a year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jambie

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed on the malted milk ball cookies. They are NOT worth the calories. My husband, who normally likes everything, gave them a big thumbs down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. i've noticed that the stone wheat crackers are not as good as they used to be -- not as crunchy or full of flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. The chocolate chip almond cookies, in a clear round tub, are good and crisp, though I still prefer the discontinued whole wheat CC mini cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. [I did search for "tomato soup" in this thread before posting this]
                                                                                                                                                                                                          We love the organic creamy tomato soup. Can't count how many times that tomato soup supplied our RDA of vegetables. I wish I could make it at home. All the creamy tomato soup recipes I find online are too fatty or too runny like tomato juice. Is there a knock off recipe someone could point me to?
                                                                                                                                                                                                          TIA!
                                                                                                                                                                                                          -- A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          9/18/11

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bhaaskar

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You searched the wrong board. Here is a preliminary list from the Home Cooking board: http://www.chow.com/search?query=%22t...
                                                                                                                                                                                                            For some reason I couldn't get the Advanced Search box to open so these threads are only from the past 12 months.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. A Big Nay to the prepared beef stroganoff. I never have asked for my money back but this time I did. The meat was shredded and foul.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Has anyone had the new cake that is in the freezer section--that is chocolate flavored and possibly meringue-based? I needed a treat for an affair, but it only serves 6, so I did not purchase it, but I was intrigued.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, has anyone had the toffee chocolate covered popcorn?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gateau Concorde is the chocolate meringue & chocolate mousse cake in the freezer section. I bought it, haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                A nay on the toffee chocolate covered popcorn. I expected something crunchy ...but it was mushy, and no good chocolate or toffee flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. MASSIVE yay for the Dark chocolate nutty Bites--my officemates are now also addicted. Other yeas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                chicken tikka masala (I see many others love it too)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                chipotle hummus--nice smoky spicy kick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                multigrain bread (I think that is what its called)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                earl grey tea: great taste and super cheap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                new huge tubs of greek yoghurt (FINALLY!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: preppie foodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The jasmine pearl tea (in the pyramid bags) is really good. I grew up drinking jasmine loose leaf tea and the quality of the tea in TJ tea bags is impressive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I don't believe any of these are new, but here's my list of recently tried items. I shop at the greater Seattle area Trader Joe stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: Kobe Beef Burgers. I will use these for hamburgers from now on. The ground beef I've been buying typically comes packaged in vacuum sealed squares and I find it too compacted for hamburgers. These patties solve that problem. They do have a lot of calories per patty, something like 600 I think, but I'm pretty sure some of the fat cooks out.. They appear massive when uncooked, but they do shrink down somewhat. Nice and juicy with good flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: Spicy Asian Peanut Dressing (in the refrigerated section). This dressing is spicy and oh so delicious! I used most of it to dress a cold asian noodle salad (spaghetti noodles, some of the TJ's broccoli slaw, and a variety of other veggies I had left over in the fridge). I used the remainder of the dressing as a marinade for a flank steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: Champagne Pear Vinaigrette (in the refrigerated section). This is another great dressing. Has gorgonzola in it, which I'm not really a fan of (or any blue cheese for that matter), but it wasn't all that noticeable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: Cilantro Lime Dressing (again, in the refrigerated section). Liked this dressing as well. Used it on a steak salad. (Costco has this vacuum-sealed marinated carne asada which is very tasty. I find the marinade to be rather salty so I suggest rinsing the meat before cooking)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: Broccoli Slaw. I like this as an alternative to cole slaw. Sometimes it is a bit too fibrous though. I wish TJ's also carried a traditional bagged cole slaw mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: Corn and Chile Tomatoless Salsa. This stuff is really tasty! Someone told me about using it with mayo to create a coleslaw dressing, so that’s what I did (but with the broccoli slaw). I would like to find more uses for this salsa, so if anyone has any please share!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: Fennel Bulbs (2pk). This is kind of a silly "yea", but fennel is so expensive at my regular grocery store if they even have it. One of my favorite dishes is Giada's Chicken Milanese with Tomato and Fennel sauce- you must try this recipe ( just make sure you really season the chicken cutlets- I like to add a little italian seasoning to them in addition the the S&P. Also, I prefer panko breadcrumbs. Oh and I wouldn't make the sauce in the same oil the cutlets were fried in as the recipe states, that would result in a gritty sauce I think) Anyhow, TJ's also carries mascarpone which is used in the recipe. I 'm pretty sure the little tub at TJ's is like $3 or something and It is closer to $7 at my Kroger owned grocery store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: TJ's Cinnamon Buns in the canister (located in the dairy section). I like these better than the Pillsbury ones, plus no trans fats! Just watch the expiration dates as they aren't far out in my experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: Spiced Pecans. Spicy and sweet, but not too sweet. They never made it onto my salad as intended.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea: TJ's Blueberry cream and Vanilla cream yogurts. Sold in a 6 pk, 3 of each flavor. I think it is TJ's that has the blueberry/vanilla combo. I get them confused because I'm certain they are made by Yami as they are identical to the Little Yami cream yogurts which come in a couple of other flavors. These yogurts are delicious and sweet. Full fat and real sugar. Very creamy. In addition to being the best vanilla yogurt IMO, they are great because they are thick and don't easily fall of my toddler's spoon like so many other yogurts do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay: TJ's Buttermilk Biscuits in the canister (located in the dairy section). These tasted off and were not good at all. I threw them out. It is possible that it was near or just past the expiration date so perhaps that's would explain the funky taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay: Brown Rice Crispy Bars. Do not buy these unless you want to find out what sticky cardboard tastes like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay: Garlic & Herb compound butter. Was not as good as I thought it would be. Maybe it is the wine that's in it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Meh: The frozen grilled eggplant and zuchini medley. This was alright. My package had only one piece of zuchinni so it wasn't much of a medley. Kind of mushy, but I expected that since it was cooked/frozen/and reheated eggplant. Mostly I'm not sure how to serve it best. I used it as a quick veggie side with salmon and rice pilaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Meh: some sort of frozen green veggie meddley with butter. Cannot recall the name, something like three greens? Had roman broccoli in it. Didn't taste bad, just turned out overcooked and kind of mushy. I have that problem with most frozen veggies I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mrs.corgi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    good report. i second the peanut asian dressing -- but it is very definetely "peanutty" as opposed to some other asian sesame ginger type dressings. i too wish they'd carry that angel hair cole slaw cabbage. i love to make salads with that -- and i'm getting my cruciferous veggies in a fun form.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mrs.corgi -- not trader joe's, but…..i think you'd like the "eat fresh" brand of slaw with asian dressing and chow mein noodles salad kit. i keep a supply in my fridge -- esp. when they go on sale. http://www.eat-smart.net/products/pro... i can eat the whole thing! (er, should i admit that? oh…who cares…). sometimes i'll add shredded chicken and a bit of extra sesame oil. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Third the Asian Peanut Dressing. Makes a great dipping sauce for spring rolls (because of it has a touch of chile in it) and also tastes great when tossed with long beans as a warm side dish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mrs.corgi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've been buying the fennel for some months. The price is good, and packaging saves me from an overload of difficult to use fronds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mrs.corgi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would say that your caution about the expiration dates goes for pretty much any refrigerated product at TJs; I think one way they keep prices and losses low is to leave things on the shelves as long as possible. I once got to the checkout (at 8pm) before I noticed that my gallon of milk had that day's date on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mrs.corgi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My regular frozen vegetables don't have the mushiness problem:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          French green beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          green peas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          corn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          leeks (these have enough green to require lengthy cooking)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I generally stay away from meddleys and seasoned vegetable frozen items.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it's a buttered medley that contains romanesco broccoli as well as cauliflower, and it is indeed mushy and overcooked tasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also the organic brocolli florettes are VERY Good... they are staple for my lunches at work...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                their organic english oeas are really good. and the melange of bell peppers is a freezer staple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tried some more TJ's stuff recently. Unfortunately most of it ended up as "nays". I picked up a lot of prepared or semi-prepared items thinking they would save me time, but most ended up being subpar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: Pre-cooked, refrigerated rack of lamb. I don't care for lamb so this is solely based on my husband's opinion, and I should note that he likes his lamb rare and generally ordered rack of lamb out at nice restaurants or sometimes buys the french rack of lamb at Costco. Anyway, he said the TJ's lamb was horrible. Way overcooked and mostly fat. I should have known better than to buy precooked lamb for him, I just thought it would be a easy meal for him on his more often then not late nights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: Jalapeño stuffed Olives (in the jar). Had a strange metallic/ammonia smell and taste. Must be the combination of jalapeño and olive brine. Threw the jar out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: Frozen Asparagus Risotto: Completely lacked any flavor. Was not mushy like I thought it would be. Was also very dry and I cooked it less than the package directions stated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: Frozen Mac & Cheese (not the reduced guilt one). Not sure about the hype surrounding this item. It didn't have much flavor IMO. I served it to my toddler who liked it, but I didn't think it was great. Will stick to boxed mac & cheese for toddler meals since it is so much cheaper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yea: Steamed, Sliced Beets (in the refrigerated section). My husband likes beets and I think they are too much of a mess to prepare at home. Husband liked these better than canned beets. One of the few TJ items he asked e to pick up again.